Deepings Swimming Club searches for a new home as The Deepings Leisure Centre remains closed under South Kesteven District Council's orders
The chairman of a swimming club is ‘doing everything possible to keep it alive’ following the closure of the pool it uses.
Andy Cardell, chairman of Deepings Swimming Club, has been working tirelessly in a bid to find a home for members until The Deepings Leisure Centre is rebuilt or reopened.
The club has members aged from eight-years-old to almost 80, and has been based at the leisure centre for 45 years.
Andy has welcomed South Kesteven District Council’s decision to conduct a full structural report and consider multi-million pound repairs and improvements.
But the leisure centre remaining closed while this is conducted comes as a blow for the swimming club.
He said: “Unless we find a home in the next two to three weeks, I don’t think we will have a swim club.
“We have been going from pool to pool since it closed which is ok, but parents have other options because there are other swim clubs in the area.
“Because we are competitive, we do need a lot of pool time.
“We have more than 110 swimmers so it is very difficult to find other pool space within the local community - it is very stressful.”
The club has been using the outdoor pools in Bourne and Peterborough but as winter approaches this will not be viable.
Leisure pools in Stamford and Bourne do not provide the lanes needed for training towards swimming competitions.
The club is in talks with the Stamford Endowed Schools to see if it can help with a solution.
Deepings Leisure Centre closed in July due to a leaky roof. It was then found to have ‘serious health and safety concerns’, highlighted in a report.
Andy believes that there have been issues with the roof for about six years and it had been an ‘ongoing joke’ when there was heavy rain.
“I don’t know what changed for them to suddenly close it,” he said.
“Having just survived covid, to then not have a pool with immediate effect is difficult. If we were told in a year’s time or six months’ time to close, we would have had time to do something about it.”
Ian Stygall, an organiser of the campaign to keep the leisure centre open, said he was ‘gobsmacked’ by the council’s decision to keep it closed while a £100,000 report is completed.
“It feels as though I got handed my birthday presents and then they got taken away from me straight away,”
“If we hadn’t put up a fight they would’ve closed it.
“It would’ve been the easiest thing to do and carried on promising a new leisure centre,” he added.
“The one positive is that it show what a strong community the Deepings is when people put their minds to it."